How to use your competitors broken pages & links to grow

Steven Mike Voser
Any digital marketer worth their weight is familiar with linking building and the central role it plays in a solid SEO strategy. In this article, we’re going to show a simple and fast way to build backlinks to your site using your competitor's broken pages.

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What is link building and why is it so important?Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks to your website from other sites. These links let users navigate between various pages on the internet and allow search engines to crawl the web.
With new advancements to Google’s search algorithms, link building is now considered one of the most important techniques for improving your rankings in search. However, securing these links can be extremely time consuming and difficult.
“There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well. For that reason, if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of both other SEOs and your competition,” writes Paddy Moogan on Moz.
Search engines use links in two fundamental ways. Firstly, they use them to discover new web pages. Secondly, and more importantly, they use them to determine how well a web page should rank in their results.
Once a search engine has crawled a page, it can index it and analyse the quality of its content, which is what ultimately determines how well a page ranks. After all, Google and other search engines want to provide their users with the most relevant and highest quality information properly.
One of the main way search engines determines the quality of a web page is by software available how many other websites link to that page and the quality of those websites. Hence, the more links you can get from high-quality sites, the better you’ll rank in search.

Yuqo quotes“The theory is that when someone links to another website, they are effectively saying it is a good resource. Otherwise, they wouldn’t link to it, much in the same way that you wouldn’t send a friend to a bad restaurant,” writes Moogan.

Just as it’s important to secure high-quality links, it is also important to dish them out. While there is a lot of debate on this topic, the consensus among many notable SEO experts is that linking to high-quality resources from your own websites carries a variety of benefits. For a more detailed breakdown of this topic and the benefits of raw linking to other websites, check out this article by Moz.
Google founder Larry Page invented PageRank, the algorithm allowing Google to measure the quality of a page based on the links leading to it, in the 1990s. It was one of the developments that allowed Google to dominate the search industry.


How to build links using your competitors' broken pages
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of link building, let’s get down to helping you secure high-quality links for yourself.
Link building is not easy, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, the following technique is a great alternative to other, more long-term methods and has the ability to produce fast results.
In a nutshell, the process looks like this. First, you’ll identify broken links on your competitors’ websites. Next, you’ll create content for these links, notify the webmasters of the competing sites of the broken links on their site and present them with the idea of linking to your website instead.
Linking to a 404 page is a big SEO concern and most webmasters will want to resolve these issues quickly. By presenting them with a viable alternative, you’ll ideally be able to score some direct links to your site from well-ranking sites.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the broken link building process:


The first thing you’ll need to do is find your competitors. This is easy; simply run a Google search for your keyword and create a list of all the web pages appearing before you in the results.


Next, you’ll need to crawl these pages for broken links. There’s a variety of free software available online to help you do so. We suggest using Screaming Frog SEO Spider or the Check My Link plugin for those using Chrome. A good place to search for these links is on the “resource” or “news” pages of a website.


Now that you’ve found the broken links on a website, it is time to contact the webmaster of the site and notify them via e-mail. Before you do, make sure you have relevant content for the links that you’re hoping to secure for your site. If you don’t, consider creating a decent blog article or something similar for a higher chance of success.
Make sure to put the webmaster before yourself in the e-mail. You want them to believe that you’re genuinely interested in helping them maintain a good site rather than simply trying to improve your search ranking.
Repeat this process for each one of your competitors and make sure you send out customised e-mails for each webmaster to avoid looking like a spammer.


Start building quality links from your competitors todayAs we mentioned earlier, link building is one of the hardest aspects of SEO. No approach is fool-proof, and it’s important you try multiple different methods to see what best works for you and your business.
However, using your competitors’ broken links is one of the fastest ways to secure high-quality, relevant links to your site. So what are you waiting for? Get started today.
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